changeleadershipST. LOUIS – There’s leading through normal times, and then there’s leading an organization through a change. As today’s workplace increases in complexity, so too does the need for managers to possess the capabilities for leading an organization through challenges and changes.

To prepare managers for these leadership roles, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology will launch new Change Leadership certificates and a Master of Arts degree in fall, 2015.  As the first stackable certificate program at Webster University, students can complete a single certificate, or complete all three in order to earn the 37 credit hour Master’s degree in Change Leadership.

“Change leadership is an engine for making the change process work faster, smarter and more efficiently,” said Jeff Haldeman, PhD, program director and professor of management.  “To be effective, managers must be able to successfully manage change while empowering people to share in their vision.”

Change leadership is a new field for managers that requires the development of theory, skills and professional frameworks that will allow them to adapt to changes and manage challenges in the workplace. Webster University’s Change Leadership program is designed to provide managers with advanced skillsets in business-focused teamwork, diversity, strategic communications and managed change processes.  In addition to engaging with the latest theories and methods for building sustainable change capabilities within organizations, this program equips students with the foundation needed for designing and implementing change projects and improving the performance of systems.

For more information about this program, download the program brochure or visit our website.

Webster University’s Walker School of Business & Technology is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn.





David Steward speaks with Benjamin Akande

Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology honored David Steward, chairman and founder of World Wide Technology, as its 2015 Person of the Year, on Tuesday, April 21.  Prior to accepting the award, Steward discussed his leadership journey and shared insights he has gained along the way.

“There’s no doubt that when the history of early 21st century commerce is written, David Steward’s name will be mentioned,” Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School, said.  “He is a pioneer; and one of the most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs of this generation.”  Read Dean Akande’s full remarks.

Steward founded World Wide Technology with Jim Kavanaugh in 1990 as a small product reseller with a handful of employees. Today World Wide Technology is a market leader in systems integration and supply-chain solutions.

A self-described risk-taker, Steward acknowledged the importance of failure in his career.  He explained that his mistakes enabled him to learn and grow, and they eventually helped position him to achieve success.

When asked to offer his advice to the next generation of leaders, Steward said, “Who you are today will define you in the future.  Your reputation is everything and you must protect it.”

The Walker School has bestowed its Person of the Year Award upon innovative and inspirational global corporate leaders for more than a decade.  Past recipients of this award include:  AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, IKEA’s Mikael Ohlsson, IBM’s Sam Palmisano, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Monsanto’s Hugh Grant and Emerson Electric’s David Farr, among others.


Walker School Advisory Board Chair Dale Cammon, Walker School Dean Benjamin Akande, Webster University President Beth Stroble, World Wide Technology Founder David Steward and Ambassador George Herbert Walker III

Nearly 150 guests joined Steward at this event. Ambassador George Herbert Walker III presented the 2015 Person of the Year Award to Steward.  During his remarks, he recognized Steward for his unparalleled contributions to corporate America as founder of WWT and for his commitment to building communities far and wide.  He then went on to say, “David is an inspirational leader, and it is our belief that his finest days are yet to come.”

A video of the presentation will be available in the coming weeks.

A Better Place because of David Steward

On April 22, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News

Introduction for the 2015 Walker Person of the Year
David Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technology

Remarks by Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology

Good evening and welcome.  It’s wonderful to see so many friends of Webster University and the Walker School in the audience.

Each year, the Walker School recognizes one singular individual who has distinguished himself or herself in commerce, public service and the nonprofit world.  This individual is invited to our campus to share his views on leadership, entrepreneurship, business, commerce ingenuity, opportunities and challenges in a rapidly changing world. We salute these leaders for their sense of industry, their unique perspectives and their courage to take on and succeed in what are seemingly impossible yet important tasks.

And so tonight we salute a great mind, a civic leader, a member of Webster University’s board of trustees and curator for the University of Missouri.  One of the most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs of this generation. A gentleman who is proud to profess his relationship with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and one whose commitment to helping others is a living part of his daily life.

Historians celebrate the creative minds of 20th century entrepreneurs like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs just to mention a few. They write about risk-takers and those who challenged the convention in conventional wisdom. Folks who dared to create what did not exist. Pioneers with the audacity to forge new paths by challenging the status quo.

There’s no doubt that when the history of early 21st century commerce is written, David L. Steward’s name will be mentioned not just for his creative resonance or that he defied the odds from his humble beginnings and came to rise above the social and economic obstacles to write a new American story.

Like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and their contemporaries, Dave is a pioneer who 25 years ago founded World Wide Technology with Jim Kavanaugh as a small product reseller with a handful of employees in a 4,000 square foot office. Today World Wide Technology is a market leader in systems integration and supply-chain solutions.

With nearly $7 billion in annual revenues and more than 3,000 employees around the world, WWT is the second largest privately held company in the St. Louis region. In 2013 Black Enterprise Magazine listed World Wide Technology as the nation’s largest minority owned industrial/service company. World Wide Technology ranks 59th on Forbes’ Largest Private Companies 2014 list and number 28 on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work.

WWT serves the technology needs of large public and private organizations, including many of the world’s best-known brands.  Dave steward meets and exceeds the criteria we at the Walker School have set for our Person of the Year.  His phenomenal business success story, his unwavering commitment to corporate responsibility and his commitment to making a difference in this community and the greater community we call America speaks volumes.

While many entrepreneurs create businesses and then depart for greener pastures, Dave and his wife Thelma have worked to make the grass greener right here in St. Louis. My friends, if you are searching for evidence of Dave’s servant leadership look at what he’s doing to invest in our current generation of leaders.

Dave is a mentor to so many people in this community, the young and the young at heart.  I have heard testimonials from many young people in St. Louis who say they reached out to Dave and he sat down with them, listened attentively to their challenges and offered sage advice and counsel that has changed their lives and gave them that everlasting but scarce commodity we call hope.

Dave will be the first to tell you that whatever achievement that the good lord has bestowed on him is not of his own doing but one he freely acknowledges is a result of his work with others: the team at World Wide Technology.

Dave is a member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans; the council board chair for the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America, executive board member of Central Region and vice president and executive board member of National Boy Scouts of America. He serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Civic Progress and the board of curators for the University of Missouri system. He is also a board member of Biblical Business Training.

Dave is one of the most selfless men I know. He cares deeply about St. Louis.  He is focused on the present but continues to invest in our tomorrows.

St. Louis is a better place because Dave Steward is here. Our community is well positioned to be relevant because of Dave’s commitment to make St. Louis a better place to live.  It is without a doubt that Dave Steward seeks to have an everlasting impact on society.

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure and I am honored to welcome to the stage the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology 2015 Person of the Year.  Please join me in giving a warm welcome to the chairman and founder of World Wide Technology, David L. Steward.

CLICK – Creating Links in Community Knowledge

On April 21, 2015, in Events, by Walker News

networkingeventConnect with a Purpose!  Join us for a unique opportunity to network with area nonprofit organization junior board and young friend groups to connect to learn about volunteer and leadership opportunities. Gain insights on the impact of community collaboration from professionals like you who are involved and connected to the St. Louis community.

Meet with representatives from the following organizations: International Institute Young Friends, Better Together STL, Habitat for Humanity Young Friends, Salvation Army Young Adult Auxiliary, Young Friends of Brightside St. Louis, Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Society – St. Louis and more.

Thursday, April 30

5 p.m. – Organization Expo
6 p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Dr. Yemi Akande: “The Impact of Community Collaboration”

East Academic Building, Edward Jones Commons

RSVP to attend.

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Dean Akande Defines Twitter

On April 16, 2015, in Speakers, by Walker News

Jack Dorsey at Webster University

A few years ago the Walker School bestowed our Person of the Year award on Jack Dorsey, chairman, co-founder and creator of Twitter. During the Walker School’s “Tweet-up with Jack,” Dean Benjamin Akande recognized Dorsey for the powerful impact Twitter has had on society.

Akande said, “Twitter has fundamentally transformed the way we talk to each other; the way we listen to each other and the manner in which we inform one another. It has extended and strengthened the power of the written word.”

Akande went on to say that if he could summarize the impact of Twitter in 140 characters, he would tweet:  “Twitter is to our generation what Gutenberg Printing Press and Bell Telephone was to theirs.”

View a video of the Walker School’s “Tweet-up with Jack.”

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peter-maherPeter Maher, a professor and associate dean in the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, has been named Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, International Campuses and Initiatives. In this expanded role, he will oversee all international campuses and the growing number of international partnerships.

Maher joined Webster in 2004 and became associate dean in 2011. A committee will be formed to begin an international search for this position. This process is expected to take three to six months.

Join us in congratulating Peter Maher!

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Webster Expands 1-Year MBA

On April 9, 2015, in In the News, by Walker News

Offers Program at 11 Webster Locations in Four Countries

ST. LOUIS – Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology will offer its accelerated 1-Year Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Program at 11 campus locations in four countries beginning in August 2015. The program will also be delivered online.  Students enrolled in the program complete their MBA in one year in a cohort-based format that provides opportunities for them to build a global network, gain international perspective and acquire leadership skills.

Webster University launched its new 1-year MBA Program in August 2014 with 60 students enrolled at its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri as well as its campus locations in Orlando, Florida and Geneva, Switzerland. Beginning in August 2015, Webster University will expand its 1-Year MBA Program to its U.S. campuses in Columbia, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; and its international campuses in Leiden, the Netherlands and Vienna, Austria.

This program is structured to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults.  New graduates with bachelor’s degrees can also benefit from the program’s integrated global curriculum and the opportunity to pursue their MBA in one year.

“Webster’s 1-Year MBA Program instills a global perspective in students while teaching them to think critically, act decisively and lead with confidence,” said Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School.

Embedded in Webster’s one-year MBA program is a career management component that enables students to work with a professional career coach who understands their industry and is able to help them articulate and achieve their goals.  Students also have opportunities to participate in a global immersion travel experience, connect with other cohort students through live connected classes and strengthen their leadership skills with coursework specifically designed for Webster University by an Oxford University professor.

“As an entrepreneur and father of three young children, Webster’s accelerated 1-Year MBA Program is a great fit for my busy schedule,” Matt Marchal, a student in Webster University’s inaugural 1-Year MBA cohort, explained.  “I have met a diverse group of amazing professionals in my cohort who, like myself, desire to be more effective managers, leaders and business owners.”

Webster University’s Walker School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institute and its business programs can earn.

To learn more, visit

ocpfair1The Internship Fair hosted by Webster University’s Office of Corporate Partnerships on April 8 connected students with employers who are seeking to hire interns.  More than 100 students took advantage of the professional development opportunity, which gave them access to recruiters from various industries, including: finance, healthcare, information technology, marketing, public relations and more.



“In today’s highly competitive business environment, it’s imperative that students are exposed to career development opportunities,” said Benjamin Akande, chief of corporate partnerships and dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.  “Our internship fair was a success because it introduced Webster University talent to recruiters from local and global companies.”

In addition to discussing career opportunities with prospective employers, the Internship Fair included a deans’ table where students could chat with Webster University deans and register to win raffle prizes.

ocpfair4This Internship Fair marks the second career development event hosted this year by the Office of Corporate Partnerships.  Learn more about the Office of Corporate Partnerships.

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You Get Blamed and it’s Not Your Fault

On April 8, 2015, in Career Insight, by Walker News

We have all been there!  Unfortunately when that happens we tend to react rather than respond. So what if you get blamed for something and it’s not your fault?  With my limited experience with the blaming game, when it occurs, it can be very nasty. Watch Out!  It can cost you promotions, commissions and even your job.

There are six keys to handling “blamer” situations:  When you’re blamed, it always involves someone else who is hiding their incompetence or someone who is looking to set you up so they look like a saint.  Identify that person!  Treat them like a dangerous explosive until you’re sure they’re disarmed.

Action #1:  “Mentally Red Flag” when blaming happens once — even in small seemingly innocent matters.  Remember, a “Blamer” is very consistent and usually much more crafty and devious than non-blamers like you.  They’ve honed that skill for survival.

Action #2:  If it happens twice, go into “documentation” mode.  Keep records, emails, conversation notes, “confirmation of conversation” notes from you, information from customers, etc. Most of the time blamers find ways to report your “wrong doing” to the authorities. Having records prepares you to respond better to a concerned boss.

Action #3:  Identify the blamer’s allies — blamers usually don’t work alone.  Most people are drawn to befriend others just like themselves.

Action #4:  Identify your allies:  The best is the blamer’s boss, but they can be co-opted, so evaluate carefully; if the blamer’s boss is also your boss, look to make a department change or a career move.  Your boss can either make you or break you. You will be under fire if your boss always believes the constant blamer.

Action #5:  Know that there’s some risk in being a “tattle tale,” but there’s a bigger risk in a “victim,” so calculate your individual risk and make connections with allies as soon as appropriate.  Keep those allies informed of progress.

Action #6:  Blamers can only thrive in cultures that tolerate CYA, blaming, etc.  Get your resume together and find a better corporate culture.

Office politics can sometimes get ugly.  Good employees get fired, while not-so-good ones get promoted.  Some people get ahead by destroying other people’s reputations and outmaneuvering them in political gamesmanship.

Don’t get caught in someone else’s blaming web.

david hults-2014About the Author:
David Hults is a nationally known career coach and speaker, as well as a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University where he also completed graduate courses toward his MBA. Since 1987, Hults is the author of five books, a CD coaching series and has created the most sought after interview flash card set, which makes the interview simplified and painless. His experience in human resources led him to work for Express Scripts, a Fortune 500 company, as well as one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems, BJC. He has been coaching individuals for more than 20 years on how to break through individual roadblocks while also delivering speeches across the nation discussing how to manage change in careers and organizations today. For more information, visit his website at

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The 2015 Masters Tournament by the Numbers

On April 8, 2015, in In the News, by Walker News

John Orr

There’s no shortage of intrigue or interesting statistics tied to the 79th Masters Tournament, held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA.  In the article, “The 2015 Masters Tournament by the Numbers,” on, Associate Professor of Management John Orr offers his perspective on the biggest issues facing the game of golf and the economics of the sport.  Read the article for his insights.



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